'Survivor: Marquesas' did a lot more than simply survive Thursday night head-to-head against a highly promoted episode of 'Friends.' The debut of the fourth installment of CBS' hit reality show was seen by about 23.2 million viewers and the audience grew steadily as the hour-long show progressed. During the first half-hour of 'Survivor' about 21.8 million viewers were watching. Once 'Friends' ended, the 'Survivor' audience jumped to 24.6 million viewers.

'Friends,' which featured a "very special" episode - in which Joey professed his love for Rachel - averaged a whopping 27.5 million viewers.

Thursday night's debut was down slightly from the first episode of 'Survivor: Africa' which drew about 23.8 million viewers when it debuted last October. Last year, the post Super Bowl debut of 'Survivor: The Australian Outback' was by far the best first episode of any so far drawing about 45.3 million viewers.

Source: NYPost.com